Sacking Byzantium


In distress, in the midst
of our performances as cheating
mediums, two thieves, two fiends,
too destined to never become
friends, writing letters to each
other in secret code in
times of war, how we
conceived this conceit of ours,
to think we were first,
to make it seem we
even ever believed, we were

on the scene before another
cabal of kids usurped from
our junior high handy-under-the-bleachers grip
this mastery of burning lips
over chilling silence, kissing fictions
into pictures believable only through
deceit, too much credit, perhaps,
but then again, our way
of doing business was to
do each other then split,
partners until it got serious


is the diagnosis only now
do we both finally get,
yet in good faith two
men have been deceived, yes,
too resolute to accept defeat,
to be misled and by
our machinations against lasting embrace
missed, telling the truth and
lying at the same time,
eyes twinned in one glance,
glimpsing each other’s reaction to

the end, dissipating in an
instant, dissonance, in lieu of
flowers, will send its regrets
as an antacid tablet shatters
at the back of a
mouth, full eruption of fourth
molars lording over curious cures
their anomalous force kills over
and over, miraculous our throats
hold crumbled stones, dust not
unlike incinerated bone, ashen flow


of sacked Byzantium riveting exquisite
and byzantine along voice rivering
velvet corridored throats toward those
words where our own won’t
go, apologetics a discipline better
left to believers in that
myth which exploded ours, iconoclassicists
poring over shards to reform
what never was worth the
siege to pillage from opened
arms, how we gave away

in one little rage how
to tame our storm, to
drop the curtain, to let
it fall, on this initiatory
drama it’s been in us,
within two rude bodies as
in two cavalier skulls by
corsair threats crossed, since our
beginning to perform, our failure’s
reward a glutton’s bounty of
song starving to be forgotten.